- On 8-10 June 2016, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief Dr. Heiner Bielefeldt, in partnership with Muslims for Progressive Values, held a three-day private conference and public event on freedom of religion and belief and sexuality. This report summarizes the panel discussions and presentations that took place during the private segment of the conference as well as the public event, which featured civil society actors and UN experts examining issues at the intersection of freedom of religion and belief and sexuality.
- In lead up to the 24th Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a selection of MPV's recommendations to Somalia were featured in the United Nations' Summary prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Read the full report here and read MPV's Stakeholder Report on the UPR of Somalia here.
In February, MPV hosted a side event titled "Towards Inclusive Post-2015 Development: Defying Discriminatory Laws and Deconstructing Cultural Norms", fleshing out a comprehensive discourse to contextualize human rights within the Post-2015 Development Agenda, with particular emphasis on striking correlations between discriminatory laws, policies, and social practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and detriment to economic development, especially in culturally and/or religiously conservative states. Watch the video.
- In March, MPV launched its initiative #ImamsForShe with a Thunderclap campaign, reaching over 115,401 people worldwide via social media and at its parallel event "#ImamsForShe: Sharia as a Source of Women's Rights" to the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of women in New York. Watch the video of the event and watch the Q&A Session. To learn more about the #ImamsForShe Initiative, click here.
- During the 26th Session of the Human Rights Council, MPV collaborated with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) to deliver an oral statement in response to the report by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief Heiner Bielefeldt on preventing violence in the name of religion. Read and watch the statement.
- In August, upon returning from the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Amman, our UN Representative was able to make an intervention at the first ever Arria-Formula Security Council Session at UNHQ in New York on violence against LGBTI demographics in Iraq and Syria. The gathering was convened by the governments of the United States and Chile, and featured jarring and quite heartbreaking presentations from two men who escaped violence and persecution in Iraq and Syria, as well our friends at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. MPV's intervention was well received by the room, and can be found here.
- In December, we submitted a written statement on the Commission on the Status of Women Session 60 with Family Educational Services Foundation, noting that we "launched a flagship initiative entitled #ImamsForShe, which seeks to engage Muslim faith leaders in earnest dialogue and advocacy for gender equality and women’s empowerment." Read the full statement here.
- MPV’s Ani Zonneveld spoke on a side panel to the United Nations Human Rights Council Session 26 on the topic of Human Rights and Progressive Islam: its theological application on countering “blasphemy laws”, the support for separation of religion and state, gender equality and LGBTQI rights. Watch the video.
- MPV was successful in adding language to the 65th UN DPI/NGO Conference Outcome Document Declaration, promoting a new vision for the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda.
- MPV-UN Youth Representative Mahfuzul Islam read the statement in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
- As part of MPV’s global advocacy tour, when MPV returned to Geneva, Switzerland for meetings with civil society leaders, diplomats and United Nations’ officials countering radicalism and human rights abuses in the name of Islam as well as addressing discriminatory practices toward Muslims in Europe with solutions. MPV also met with progressive Muslim civil society and UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of and from Religion and Belief in Berlin, Germany.
- A joint statement with the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office condemning Gambia’s criminalization of homosexuality and its discriminatory repercussions.
- MPV advocated for gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment at a panel titled “Human Rights and Women” organized by the NGO Committee on the Status of Women in New York.
- MPV participated in the largest women’s rights conference in the world, the Commission on the Status of Women 58 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.